I will do it – Saturday, 4th Week of Easter – Acts 13:44-52/ John 14:7-14
There is incredulity and extreme clarity, scattered over seven verses. Jesus has just answered Thomas’ question and then declared that no one comes to the father except through him and that knowing Jesus one knows the father. Philip is clearly not satisfied. He seems to reflect the never ending, insatiable world of doubt in the face of one more act of God’s love. He is not satisfied with the words and promises of Jesus. Like Thomas he wants to touch and feel and see and analise; “show us the father” he says.
It would be good to recall that the apostles are still sitting at the table of the Lord’s supper. He has washed their feet and has begun a private and intimate teaching. He has taught in public but now teaches privately from chapter 13 onwards. The Lord has been with the apostles for three years and one can understand the frustration when he says to Philip, “have I been with you all this time and you still do not know me?”
It is always difficult when you have to explain yourself repeatedly to others especially those closest to you. You would assume that our lives, our needs and our actions should have formed a thought pattern in the heart and the head of those around us and yet so often we are misunderstood and misjudged. Here were his closest friends who want proof, “show us the father.” If the doubts and barbs of the Jewish establishment were not hurtful enough here was one in the inner circle who wanted to be “satisfied.”
How can you say such things? that seems to be Jesus’ response. ‘To have seen me is to have seen the father’, is the response of Jesus. ‘The father and I are one for the father is in me.’ So, Jesus has to explain once again his unity with and dependence on the Father. Jesus explained why He was the only way to God; because He was and is the perfect representation of God. To know Jesus is to know God. Jesus repeated something emphasised in the Gospel of John; that Jesus lived and spoke in constant dependence upon God the Father and did nothing outside His authority and guidance.
In verse eleven Jesus tells Philip and the apostles, “believe me.” Jesus calls on Philip and the others to believe Him, not only to believe in Him; this seems to be a more personal appeal. Faith includes a recognition and acceptance in the words of God; for what Jesus says is true. This, for the believer, cannot be a matter of theory it has to be an act of faith.
This personal appeal to ‘believe him’ is followed with a promise and it backed with Jesus’ assurance. We who believe him will share in his ministry. We will do the same works that he has done and in fact we will do greater works. We just have to ask and Jesus will do it. (John 14:13). These great works that we are to do is not for our glorification, it is for the Father’s glorification through Jesus (John14:13) but we have to ask in his name (John 14:14).
Each one of us has the power to work these ‘greater works’ that Jesus speaks of. However, it demands faith in Jesus. So put your trust in his word and cling on to his promises.